​The Entrepreneurial Competencies Needed To Make It In Sports Management

Keeping up with market trends to understand the best pitches in today's sports world


It's every sports fan's dream to really be a part of the sports world in a tangible way. Because so many people would love to work in sports, it's more difficult to have success than you might think. You need specific competencies to set yourself apart and maintain success over the long run. So what does it take to be a winner? You need the ability to grind, a special penchant for dealing with high-wealth athletes, and a good sense about the world around you. Understanding how to negotiate and how to properly market athletes and teams is also critical. In today's world, an understanding of analytics is also necessary, and you must know how to handle the PR side. 

Sports is a world for grinders

If you want to be a successful person in the sports world, you must set your sights on grinding. This is true whether you're working in a sports management firm, for an agency, or even for a team. Sports schedules will take you off the nine to five clock. You'll have to be willing to work long nights, weekends, and even the holidays your friends will use to lay back. The best people in sports management learned long ago to grind. 

Hospitality skills for dealing with high-wealth individuals

If you plan to work in sports, you'll be dealing on an everyday basis with people who have high net worth. From athletes to coaches to executives and owners, you'll need to learn how to keep these people happy. This can require some hospitality skills. Those people who work with high-wealth individuals at fancy hotels have been trained in the fine art of keeping clients happy. You'll need some of these talents to successfully handle all the difficult personalities around you. 

Understanding how to market and sell

To be successful in sports management, you need more than just a working knowledge of how to find value in an NFL picks spread. On top of that, you'll need a unique penchant for selling and marketing. Marketing in the sports world is changing. Today, the good-guy athlete and the feel-good team are all the rage. You have to keep up with market trends to understand exactly how to make the best pitches in today's sports world. 

The importance of analytics

More and more people in the sports world come to the field with degrees in mathematics, statistics, and the like. A growing number of general managers have a background in analytics. In fact, some estimates suggest that as many as 80% of the GMs in baseball have some math competency. The case is similar for agents and other sports management professionals. The ability to work well with numbers is becoming a major selling point for people hoping to get in the field. 

PR matters

If you've followed sports at all over the last few years, then you'll understand very well the value of a good PR approach. Athletes have had their careers torched by making bold proclamations in the media or by misunderstanding some topic of popular interest. This has never been more important than today. Most athletes have a presence on Twitter, and this makes sense given the rate at which sports fans are using the website. One report indicated that 67% of sports fans use Twitter as a second screen viewing accompaniment to the game itself. The implication there is clear. Those who want to do well in sports management have to understand the power of social media to either make or break a player, a team, or a sports-related organization. 

Being competent to work in sports management is becoming harder and harder. Because so many people love the field, there is great competition for the jobs on the market. Having modern day skills can help you set you apart from this competitive crowd. You must understand both the human side and the technical side if you want long-term success.


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